26 August, 2008

British media and Dr.Fleming(3)

Journalists are sometimes more concerned with the creation of a good 
story than with the strict accuracy of their information, and good stories 
tend to be copied and embellished. Fleming took an active part in this 
continued publicity. 

Interviews and articles appeared in every sort of periodical from Tit-Bits
 to Picture Post( which named him 'Man of the Year'). He kept cuttings 
of all of them and seems to have derived sort of impish glee from their
wilder inaccuracies.

  'All the false stories invented by journalists and others were in a special 
file to make up what we called the "Fleming Myth".... The more unlikely 
they were the more they appealed to him.'  Why the 'Fleming Myth' was 
allowed to grow unchecked is again mostly a matter of conjecture. 

It seems that nothing was done by Fleming himself, nor by anyone at St. 
Mary's Hospital, to collect or even to stop the continued publication of 
these false stories, which have become so embedded in tradition that 
even senior members of the St. Mary's Hospital staff have clearly taken 
them to be true.

   Fleming, of course, gained from myth a world-wide fame and gratitude. 
Behind Fleming there were two very strong characters: Almroth Wright, 
who was intensely ambitious for his department; and Lord Moran, personal 
physician to Winston Churchill, and the Dean of St. Mary's Hospital Medical
School, whose dearest wish was for its honour, glory, and financial security.  
And somewhere in this organization one suspects the activities of a most 
efficient Public Relations Officer.